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Acorn Arcade forums: Games: Is Half Life on RISC OS possible??
 
  Is Half Life on RISC OS possible??
  [Steve] (18:31 16/11/2000)
  Phlamethrower (19:03 16/11/2000)
    johnstlr (09:25 17/11/2000)
      rich (13:51 17/11/2000)
        ToiletDuck (18:02 17/11/2000)
          Phlamethrower (19:53 17/11/2000)
            [Steve] (23:18 17/11/2000)
              Wrath (23:38 17/11/2000)
                johnstlr (10:47 18/11/2000)
                  rich (14:48 18/11/2000)
                    johnstlr (16:10 18/11/2000)
                      [Steve] (19:37 18/11/2000)
                        ToiletDuck (10:59 19/11/2000)
                          Phlamethrower (17:02 20/11/2000)
                            chrisbazley (11:48 15/12/2000)
                              johnstlr (13:52 15/12/2000)
                                tfountain (15:04 15/12/2000)
                                  [Steve] (18:32 15/12/2000)
                                    [Steve] (18:34 15/12/2000)
                                      ToiletDuck (19:13 15/12/2000)
                                        ToiletDuck (19:14 15/12/2000)
                                          chrisbazley (22:04 15/12/2000)
                                            chrisbazley (22:09 15/12/2000)
 
Steve Allen Message #84856, posted by [Steve] at 18:31, 16/11/2000
AA refugee
Posts: 56
Obviously in the future, but have we got a machine right now that could cope with it?

I was just thinking as a few years ago we were pretty level in terms of power regarding games but Im not sure whether the Acorn as it is now could cope with even say Rollercoaster Tycoon. And what will these new gfx cards have as an effect on what runs???

Sorry I got bored and thought a rambly thread was in order...


________
[Steve]
RiscPC SA & Duron 600@850
ICQ: 51028779

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Jeffrey Lee Message #84857, posted by Phlamethrower at 19:03, 16/11/2000, in reply to message #84856
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15096
Reasons for:
* We shall soon have faster processors/3D cards
* ArcQuake wasn't as good as TBA Quake, so HL might just run...
* We could decrease the standard screen size as well (for PC's the software mode default was 640x480)
* They've done it for Linux....
* It would bring Acorns back into the news a bit
* Valve would be happy (We all know they're money grabbers, having released HL about 6 times!)

Reasons against:
* Not many computers with FPA's
* All the mod's would have to be converted
* Unless we want another ArcQuake, the engine would have to be re-written mainly in assembler
* No 3D cards yet unhappy
* HL needs quite a bit of RAM to run now
* It would just add another conversion to the list of Acorn games, instead of a completely new idea.

However, if anyone wants to try it then I am available smile

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Lee Johnston Message #84858, posted by johnstlr at 09:25, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84857
Member
Posts: 193
Could Half-Life be converted to RISC OS?

Absolutely

Will it run faster than a speeding glacier?

Probably not.

Actually, assuming the conversion was for Omega, Kinetic and Evolution (if it ever arrives) then it might be feasible (I give an Omega or Evolution with XScale the most realistic opportunity though).

Ok we don't have FPAs. So we rewrite the code to use fixed point math. As for completely rewriting it assembler....well I don't think that'd be productive. Certainly profile the code and reimplement time critical parts, but not the whole thing.

The mods would only have to be converted if the market was strong enough to support them. First thing would be to get the game running.

Finally I'm interested in how you know TBAQuake was better than ArcQuake. Have you got a copy of the source lying around?

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Richard Goodwin Message #84859, posted by rich at 13:51, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84858
Rich
Dictator for life
Posts: 6819
I have to say that I first played HL on a P133 with just on-board graphics, and thought it was great, although I had to reduce the playing window a little; on a PII 450 with a Matrox G200 I played TFC and could get the benefit of water effects, full screen etc. A 1Gig PC with a "proper" 3D graphics card could of course be even better.

The point being that, even with a "lesser" machine, it's a great game and very playable. A StrongARM machine might be okay, and an XScale machine much better (bearing in mind Omega has the lightning chipset too), so I don't think that should stop us. Licensing costs, programmers, ah now that's a differet matter...

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Mark Quint Message #84860, posted by ToiletDuck at 18:02, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84859
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
hmmmm half-life cant be that hard to get running at a decent speed once we've got the X-Scale or ARM10s. My Athlon 700 (which only has an ATi Xpert 98 is it unhappy ) can happily run Half-Life in 1152x864 in Software rendering without many problems, so im sure a 1Ghz StrongARM can do it, and with either the ideas of the Viewfinder card of PCI Graphics cards then we could get some 3D acceleration too smile .
Im not sure about the Lightning chipset in the Omega, although it may be the fastest chipset for Risc OS, i cant see it getting very far with handling Half-Life. We need MicroDigital to give a comparision of its 3D capabilities with a similar PC 3D accelerator card. - and i cant see then comparing it with a GeForce 2 for a few years unhappy
Unfortunately there will be problems with many of the fantastic multiplayer mods unhappy - even if we do get a compatible version ur not gonna be able to play online with PC users because of "anti-Cheat" version checking methods used by the major mod makers (although TFC or FireArms would be very nice to play).
Ohh before i forget, we need to yell at Aleph1 to make the RiscPC display adapter compatable with Half-Life (i managed to get it to almost work with version 2 & our 133Mhz PC Card, so if anyone has v.3 or more then plz try it & tell me the results).
so there we are, theres enough proccessing power around to play Half-Life, its just those evil capilatist american hippies at Sierra (although Sierra is also based in Reading smile-where i live )
who *might* just not want us to make a conversion, but you never know, *when* TF2 comes out they may not mind about HL being converted.
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Jeffrey Lee Message #84861, posted by Phlamethrower at 19:53, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84860
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15096
I'm pretty certain that TBA Quake outperformed ArcQuake. Their engine was at least partially re-written in assembler and Acorn-optimised, while ArcQuake is basically the C source recompiled. I also have a demo from one of the Acorn User CD's, called fast quake. It draws E1M2 at 640x480, with the light map and sky at an average speed of 14fps. Obviously this is quite a bit less than what real Quake does, but I'm sure it would be better than ArcQuake if it was carried through.
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Steve Allen Message #84862, posted by [Steve] at 23:18, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84861
AA refugee
Posts: 56
How much does such a licence cost??

For Half life, etc...

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Nathan Message #84863, posted by Wrath at 23:38, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84862
Member
Posts: 154
How much does such a licence cost??

For Half life, etc...


I would imagine that it would be tens of thousands for a license currently.

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Lee Johnston Message #84864, posted by johnstlr at 10:47, 18/11/2000, in reply to message #84863
Member
Posts: 193
I'm pretty certain that TBA Quake outperformed ArcQuake. Their engine was at least partially re-written in assembler and Acorn-optimised, while ArcQuake is basically the C source recompiled. I also have a demo from one of the Acorn User CD's, called fast quake. It draws E1M2 at 640x480, with the light map and sky at an average speed of 14fps. Obviously this is quite a bit less than what real Quake does, but I'm sure it would be better than ArcQuake if it was carried through.

But did you see it? My point is that I can write code in assembler and "optimise" it, and then find the compiler has done a better job than me. Assembler isn't some magic "write in it and everything will go faster" language like lots of people seem to think. Personally I think the RISC OS market is far too fixated with assembler in general - look at the hassles we're having now getting onto new hardware, with old apps that won't run etc etc.

I do write ARM code, but these days I figure the performance drop of C is worth it if I can write code 20 times quicker (and I'm someone who still develops on an A4000 so I dunno what all you StrongARM owners are bleating at cool ).

IIRC fast quake was also missing a lot of features from the original - in fact didn't it just draw the levels? Adding the models and stuff will add a fair overhead.

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Richard Goodwin Message #84865, posted by rich at 14:48, 18/11/2000, in reply to message #84864
Rich
Dictator for life
Posts: 6819
The TBA version of quake was supposed to be very much faster because they were hoping to use it for Quake II as well as Quake I; and we all know which game engine Half-Life uses don't we? smile

I don't think Fast Quake is TBA Quake; it was just a demo. Okay, we never saw TBA Quake, but it was apparently not far from completion and shows what can be achieved.

That's why I'm fairly confident that technical issues are not what would stop a HL port.

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Lee Johnston Message #84866, posted by johnstlr at 16:10, 18/11/2000, in reply to message #84865
Member
Posts: 193
The TBA version of quake was supposed to be very much faster because they were hoping to use it for Quake II as well as Quake I; and we all know which game engine Half-Life uses don't we? smile

"Supposed to".

Sorry, as someone who has seen both computers and software disappear just as he was about to buy it over the last few years I'm less inclined to believe things unless I see them myself these days.

Anyway, apparently Martin Piper no longer has the source although it is supposed to be "out there"

I don't think Fast Quake is TBA Quake; it was just a demo. Okay, we never saw TBA Quake, but it was apparently not far from completion and shows what can be achieved.

Fast Quake was written by Jan ....(I forget the surname) and the C/ARM source code can be downloaded from

http://aglaee.imag.fr/AcornDemos/FtpArea/3D_engines/

It's a BSP viewer with about 15k of C code and 2k of ARM macros. Note that a BSP viewer is a long, long way from a usable game engine.

That's why I'm fairly confident that technical issues are not what would stop a HL port.

Fair enough - lack of developers, time and money are a good enough brick wall anyway.

[Edited by 9 at 16:12, 18/11/2000]

[Edited by 9 at 16:16, 18/11/2000]

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Steve Allen Message #84867, posted by [Steve] at 19:37, 18/11/2000, in reply to message #84866
AA refugee
Posts: 56
I swear I remember reading that HL runs on the Quake engine, not Q2.... could be wrong tho (it has been known grin)
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Mark Quint Message #84868, posted by ToiletDuck at 10:59, 19/11/2000, in reply to message #84867
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
no, im quite sure Half-Life runs on the Quake 2 engine unhappy
But what did TBA do with their source code for TBAQuake???
Until something further happens on the HL of Risc OS front, Check out the mods avaliable for Quake:
(I've tried most of these on a RiscPC except for the extremely too big ones that would take years to dload) Team Fortress (yay the original that i've had to rely on then WON is down and i cant play TFC, it also has bots scurrying round the net) Capture the Flag (has a pretty good bot for it too) Defeat In Detail (the first ever 3D RTS game (www.planetquake.com/elf) The Nehahra Project (a 190MB mod following on from the end of quake - but i dont know whether it works for Risc OS as i havent even finished dloading it yet unhappy )

so, theres quite a few mods to keep us happy with ArcQuake (although if u've got a pc nearby use that cos the SA's Floating Point stinks), also go to www.fileplanet.com and look under the mod. sections there too.

ARRRGHHHH Why are modems so slow!!!! ahh well, Risc OS message boards provide a bit of entertainment whilst dloading Front Line Force smile

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Jeffrey Lee Message #84869, posted by Phlamethrower at 17:02, 20/11/2000, in reply to message #84868
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15096
HL runs on a mix of Quake, Quake 2, and Valve's own code.

And here are a couple more Quake mods:
* Fiend Hunter 1 http://fh1.telefragged.com
One of the more advanced mods that goes as far as changing the Quake exe, plus an older version is available for ArcQuake (I suppose it will run). There are however a few bugs and missing features, and development seems to be running low. A little hint if you try the current version though - add '-console' to the command line to get access to the console (ala HL), and put your controls in the autoexec.cfg (or delete config.cfg from the pak file), otherwise it gets stuck on Xoltan's setup.
* Your Path Of Destruction http://www.planetquake.com/doom
Is basicallly Doom in the Quake engine, and looks pretty good too.


[Edited by 17 at 17:04, 20/11/2000]

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Message #84870, posted by chrisbazley at 11:48, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84869
Member
Posts: 58
Everyone is missing the point!
Nowadays virtually all games are built upon graphics standards, which are implemented in hardware cards on most modern PCs.

The only sensible direction to go in, would be to a) Decide which 3D graphics standard to support.
b) Write a software implementation of this.
c) When the 3D cards come out, replace the OpenGL module with a driver for your graphics card.

Particularly with the prospect of hardware graphics cards in the future, unless a 3D standard is adopted for RISC OS, then a lot of time and effort will be wasted by various people.

At this late stage, we should not be having different coders each implementing their own texture mapping algorithms. This is a waste of effort.

Whether or not we ever get decent graphics cards, we need a software 3D standard to progress at all. We have software emulation to implement other standards (e.g. Floating Point).

This strategy (concentrating the best coders on the task of implementing a graphics standard) would also increase the number of less-skilful coders able to produce impressive looking games dramatically. You would be looking at a revolution in PD software.

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Lee Johnston Message #84871, posted by johnstlr at 13:52, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84870
Member
Posts: 193
Everyone is missing the point!
Nowadays virtually all games are built upon graphics standards, which are implemented in hardware cards on most modern PCs.

Not everyone. I've advocated MiniGL as a first step in one of the other threads.

The only sensible direction to go in, would be to
a) Decide which 3D graphics standard to support.

The only sensible option is OpenGL. Converting Direct3D, while possible, would be difficult to reproduce exactly due to it's COM based nature and also you're at the mercy of Microsoft. Microsoft would probably shut you down faster than you could say "the lawyers are coming" cool

b) Write a software implementation of this.

Or port one. Mesa is too unweldy for what we want though.

c) When the 3D cards come out, replace the OpenGL module with a driver for your graphics card.

Yep BUT both the software and hardware drivers have to contain the sam functionality. This is not always the case with OpenGL as it's a large API (hence the MiniGL drivers).

Whether or not we ever get decent graphics cards, we need a software 3D standard to progress at all. We have software emulation to implement other standards (e.g. Floating Point).

We can always convert the floating point to fixed point underneath the API.

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Tim Fountain Message #84872, posted by tfountain at 15:04, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84871
AA refugee
Posts: 59
Argh another RISC OS user who plays TFC! Oh and Front Line Force isn't that great IMO, although most people seem to like it.
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Steve Allen Message #84873, posted by [Steve] at 18:32, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84872
AA refugee
Posts: 56
Vee are taking over zee vorld!!!!!!!!
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Steve Allen Message #84874, posted by [Steve] at 18:34, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84873
AA refugee
Posts: 56
Sorry I needed to post again to point out that I was partially right that HL runs on the Quake engine.

Also so I can get as many posts as Tim - lagging behind y'see tongue

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Mark Quint Message #84875, posted by ToiletDuck at 19:13, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84874
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
yup I prefer TFC to FLF, but it isnt too bad (but why didnt they include the Steyr Aug??)
If you havent already, download FireArms which is another very class multiplayer mod (& does have a steyr aug) tongue
the important think to say though would be WHY CAN'T VALVE GET A MOVE ON & RELEASE TF2?!!!!!!! smile
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Mark Quint Message #84876, posted by ToiletDuck at 19:14, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84875
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
oh here's a question i forgot to ask, & hasnt really been answered in the forum yet, What would be needed to run Half-Life, & could we do it now????
Is the biggest problem Licensing, or is there more to it???
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Message #84877, posted by chrisbazley at 22:04, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84876
Member
Posts: 58
Everyone is missing the point!
Nowadays virtually all games are built upon graphics standards, which are implemented in hardware cards on most modern PCs.

Not everyone. I've advocated MiniGL as a first step in one of the other threads.


Good man! Do you think that getting this project together is a viable proposition? I really think that software OpenGL is essential to increase the number of 3D games that can be written, and to make porting PC games practical.

I'm going to look up stuff about OpenGL... even a minimal implementation would be a very exciting development! smile

Whether or not we ever get decent graphics cards, we need a software 3D standard to progress at all. We have software emulation to implement other standards (e.g. Floating Point).

We can always convert the floating point to fixed point underneath the API.


Or, not, for machines with hardware floating point support. Just another version of the module. That is the beauty of the idea.
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Message #84878, posted by chrisbazley at 22:09, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #84877
Member
Posts: 58
The biggest problem is that it is a crazy (and very untimely) idea, with the games scene in the state that it currently is.

Who would take on such a project? Martin Piper? I think not, having had his fingers burned over Quake...

You cannot have a tree without roots. A port of Half Life would be one of the topmost leaves of a hypothetical tall tree that is currently only a small sapling planted in a stagnant swamp.

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Acorn Arcade forums: Games: Is Half Life on RISC OS possible??